Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How do you publish a book?

How do you publish a book?

I've been asked this question a lot lately so I figured I'd write out my response here. :) Now, there are probably other ways to go about getting published that I haven't mentioned, I"m just covering what I have done on my own for self-publishing and what I know about going through an agent. There are exceptions for everything and for all I know your ex Sister-In-Law is BFF with the editor at some company and smuggled your manuscript into his/her stack and you were picked! I mean, you never know. Again, I'm going to go over what I know and my own experiences. If you have any recommended sites to help budding writers please post a comment below.

There are two routes you can take for publishing that we are going to talk about.

1.) Publishing with someone (agent and publishing house)

If you want to use an agent they will take the bulk of the work that you would have to do yourself for self-publishing. Such as editing (though it needs to be as perfect as possible), deciding upon the cover (you are lucky to get options as a new author), uploading into medias (though you still should advertise, it is your book after all), and taking it to publishing houses to get it out there for the world.

If you are going to try this route first then I would make sure the MS (Manuscript) is finished and edited. Agents want finished works.

To find an agent you can go to a number of places: is one of many. Always research your agent and send what they would like. If you write romance don't send a Query to to an agent looking for Middle Grade stories. I know that sounds like common knowledge, but I have read many agent complaints about this simple mistake and they won't read your letter. Also, make sure the agent is even accepting queries at this time. Some people are closed if they are over swamped with work.

A Query letter can be found and explained here: This site gives a breakdown of a query letter as well as example links towards the bottom.

You can send out as many letter as you would like to different people, just follow their submission guidelines located on their sites. And good luck! :D There world is huge and sometimes you might get a hundred nos before you get that one yes that will make all the difference.

2.) Self-Publishing

There are probably more ways such as selling your work to the publishing house directly and buy copies to sell to individual businesses and some such, but I haven't researched those enough to know the correct way to do this route.

For Self-publishing you have to do everything an agent would do. You take over being the editor, cover designer, marketer, and anything else you need to be. Granted, there are plenty of people out there who will help you. There are editors and cover designers who are more than willing to help you out for a price, and I find that it is worth it. Just know who you are buying from. Join an author group on social media and start asking questions. The community is one of the best ways to not only advertise yourself, but to make connections and gain experience.

Decide if you want to make it ebook only or paperback (which the sites you go through for this usually have an ebook ability So no use doing the work twice over when some site does it all for you.)

If you want to make it a paperback you can pick between two sites that I know of. Lulu and Createspace. Both sites are just personal preference. I would read through each and find out their rules, royalties, distributors, and their own clients even. It's personal preference. I use Createspace and my friend, Diana, uses Lulu. I have books from both companies and they don't look any different from one another.

Both sites also take you through a thorough step by step process to help you publish giving examples and explanations to most everything. If you aren't certain about something there are forums to turn to or you can even message the people of the site directly.

Once you decide what site they should provide you with templates on how to properly Format your book, which to me, takes the longest! Or you can pay someone to do it for you. I personally don't want to waste the money on something when I can just take the time to do it myself. You're first Book is the slowest to format because you're learning all of this, but don't let it deter you at all.

Once you follow the sites and send off your cover and book to be looked at they will let you know once it is accepted and also tell you if there are any issues for you to change and you can do so and then send it to be submitted to the site for selling.

Now, all along this way (depending on who you are) you could be advertising yourself and setting up cover reveals, guest blog posts, sneak peak excerpts for people to be teased with, and the release date all the way up until the book finally is out. Even after you should keep posting about it from time to time, hold a raffle, give away signed copies. I mean anything to spread the words of your book at that point. But it won't sell itself.

In the end it's your choice which route you would like to do. :)
I hope this helps out a bit. If you have anymore questions let me know.

Brenda Franklin, author of The Pulse Trilogy.

Some more helpful links: 

Cover Artists:
Jennifer Munswami (She did my Pulse Trilogy Book)

(Facebook groups you should look at!)

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